Posts

Becoming mobile..

When you have a crazy dream it’s a bit scary when it begins to come to life!

Our dream in setting up Positive RDA has been about enabling people to enjoy the healing power of horses and the countryside when they are faced with life-changing injuries and illnesses. Riding out in the countryside is a dream for many, but a basic risk assessment indicates that taking a group out on modern roads to get there is a big No No!

So the idea of a mobile RDA began to develop.  A horsebox that could take 2 horses to lovely places or competitions for riders with disabilities to enjoy – because it has a hydraulic lifting platform to mount and dismount with safety and ease.  The platform would also enable access to a simple day-living area for a cup of tea and cake after – and an accessible loo too.  Riders will be coached on carefully selected horses in a suitable safe environment first, and volunteers will walk alongside the riders and support the whole experience.

So, at last people with disabilities will be able to get out to enjoy the amazing views from the Ridgeway and ride on the glorious North Wessex Downs!

Initial design

Conversations with care home managers then made the link of bringing a horse to them for simple talking therapy and an interesting break from the daily routine.  The accessibility and design of this horsebox will create a unique space where the horse becomes central to a special tea party. It will be a special place to connect with a friendly horse safely, and just escape into memories of the good old days of country living… We are looking at insulation, heating and air-conditioning to make it comfortable to use most of the year.

The dream is becoming a reality now that we are pinning down the specification, costs and presenting the plans to major funders.  It is a true innovation and its bold design should attract attention wherever it goes in the region.  We will be training and insuring our volunteers to  drive it to professional standards and setting up a booking system to make it widely available.

Please contact us with any contributions to the build and set up costs or connections with charities that would like to partner with us. Volunteers to help with all the different aspects of running the group would be very welcome too!

Inspired by Hannah Francis

Most people in the UK horse world know about Willberry Wonder Pony and 18-year-old Hannah Francis. BBC Radio Bristol produced a video of her inspiring story.

When she rode a horse she said it ‘made her feel normal again’.

Hannah was first diagnosed with lung, hip, and pelvic cancer on May 1, 2015. She did not waste a single moment after, using her energy to fight off the insidious disease, follow her dreams, garner support for others in need, and fundraising for cancer research. She became a friend of many of the greatest eventers in the world, and inspired many of them to take up her cause or at the very least, live life to its fullest. She died on 1st August 2016.

Hannah’s wish was to help other seriously ill people by giving them truly memorable equine experiences. And that is what Positive RDA is all about too.